Santa Maria Valley Classics
2015 Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Appearance: Medium gold with excellent clarity.
Aromatics: Savory apple and lime zest, browned butter and brulee, clean ocean breeze, hints of tropical fruit (guava/pineapple), complex and surprisingly integrated for such a young Chardonnay.
Palate: Apple créme brulee, lime zest and citrus blossom, rich with a flavor akin to pears poached in butter. Firm acid, quite dry, but supported by a good dollop of fruity and oak - toasted richness. Slightly leaner style than 2013, but with enough malolactic and oak treatment to leave no doubt this is a crafty and deliciouslly balanced Chardonnay.
Food Pairing: Sole, halibut, seabass or any white fish poached, grilled or sautéed with a beurre-blanc sauce. Dungeness crab with garlic butter, diver scallop, Caesar salad or ripe avocado sliced thin with ponzu and a pinch of sea salt. Santa Barbara Channel Uni (urchin) so fresh it’s still twitching on the plate. Carnitas tacos on fresh tortillas with tomatillo salsa and a slice of grilled pineapple.
Aging: Ready to drink now but will become a little more complex, mineral and nutty between 5 and 8 years from vintage date. Decanting/aerating suggested through 2019.
Cases Produced: 1506
Winemaker: Wes Hagen
2015 Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
Appearance: Medium ruby with excellent clarity.
Aromatics: Ripe red berry fruits, cherry pie, Kola nut, white pepper, clove and an intense earthy/ spicy/ savory/meaty complexity that reminds me of great, young Burgundy wine.
Palate: Bright, fruity, balanced and quite complex for such a juicy youngster . Light, loamy tannins add structure to the light acidity, giving palate-cleansing character that will improve almost any food that can be put on a plate or in a bowl. Persistent finish shows cherry/ rhubarb/ loamy earthy tannins that are more prevalent than winemaker Wes is used to in youthful SMV Pinot Noir. This youthful wine speaks volumes about the future of Santa Maria Pinot Noir typicity and gives the Sta. Rita Hills a moment of worrisome reflection.
Food Pairing: Pinot such as the 2015 SMV matches with just about anything that you put on on a plate. Put this wine on a table with roasted duck breast with raspberry sauce (not too sweet!), fresh salmon prepared or smoked in almost any fashion, cream of Chanterelle mushroom soup, tuna sashimi, rare filet mignon or a thick pork chop off of a red oak grill finished simply with fleur de sal and fresh cracked pepper. Or anything else that’ s not Brussels sprouts or asparagus.
Aging: Delicious and complex now, but Wes prefers his pinots to lose a little baby fat before consumption, which will likely take 5-7 years. Can the wine go 10 years+? History of the vineyards used would say absolutely, but it’ s always better to drink a wine on the way up, so Wes will suggest 3-7 years of age on this if you prefer a little more earthy character . Decanting / aerating suggested through 2021.
Cases Produced: 2021
Winemaker: Wes Hagen